Issue no. 6
Being where my feet are
Being where my feet are
I found myself in the middle of a forest with a minimal cellphone signal and a brain that was overcooked and overworked from the previous weeks. It was quiet and peaceful, the trees sprouted their green leaves which rustled in the wind. Bees were buzzing between the wildflowers. The small creek could be heard from the cabin we were staying in, a diligent and consistent flow. I was still vigilant, on guard for snakes, foxes, or, god forbid, the bobcats that were out there somewhere. I feared they would meet me and break my solitude. But it was also here where I came to find rest. I wasn’t alone actually, my wonderful Plus One was with me. We had traveled down to southern Indiana for a day to escape the busy city and find a few moments to relax over the weekend and celebrate his wonderful birthday.
After unpacking, setting up camp, and settling in, we left for the hike which is where I found myself watchful for bobcats, curious about what was around the bend, and constantly looking up at the sky. This is a tactic I’ve tried to implement in the past month to stay grounded and present with myself. To let go of the constant worry that enjoys devouring me and instead turn my attention to what is right in front of me, or more like what is right above me, the beautiful baby blue sky.
I heard about this from Anne Lamott. I read her newest book Dusk Night Dawn in a matter of two days. I also watched her TedTalk, which I think came out a few years ago but I stumbled across just recently.
She talks about anxiousness, the kind where you get lost in a spiral of toxic thoughts. When you’re not fully present or in the current moment, but instead devoured by fear and anxiety that keeps you trapped so you can live fully.
Lamott says: “I saw that I am heading (God willing) to a fat old age where I will have spent only twenty percent of any given day paying attention to life, to being where my feet are. The rest of the time will have been spent in the ticker tape of imaginings, a low-level fear about those I love, and the things I need to buy…I want to learn to be.”
I want to learn to be, too.
Lamott also said in her TedTalk to “look up at the sky,” which will remind you to be where your feet are.
So as I was hiking and after we came back to camp and started cooking dinner, as the sun set below the tree line and then the horizon when the sky was electric blue and only the crickets were chattering, I kept looking up. Looking up through the trees, at the sky. Quieting my mind, being present with myself.
I want to learn to be where my feet are. Truly leaning into life and taking it as my own. I needed this camping trip, it was a breath of fresh air in the middle of nowhere.
It’s been a while since I graced your screens. You might have wondered where I’ve been. Let me tell you, my world has been unapologetically topsy turvy for the last two months. I threw myself and all my energy completely into hunting for a new career opportunity during a pandemic. It’s been time for me to expand and grow in my career for a while now. So I put all my effort into writing cover letters, applying, emailing, prepping, interviewing, waiting, following up, interviewing again, completing projects, waiting, interviewing yet again, and receiving rejections. It is a test in patients and perseverance. I can officially say that I have landed a position as a writer at a small content marketing firm in Indy, and I couldn’t be more thankful.
But with that came a never-ending to-do list, shopping lists, worries, and moments of patiently waiting. Yet here, in a moment where nothing else mattered except for the fire in front of me and my Plus One right beside me stoking it slowly, I felt calm. I was nowhere else in the world, not even in my worries, just in the middle of the wilderness at dusk.
As soon as the sun said goodnight and the electric blue sky went dark, I looked up and saw the stars twinkle in all their precious glory. I felt so small yet so significant that I get to be among them and see them with my own two eyes. No worries in the world could take the stars away and for that I’m ever grateful. And with that thought I got up and started towards the cabin, it was time to go to bed.
A few of the things I mentioned in the essay above are linked here:
For May’s mixtape, I took inspiration from the ‘90s Nora Ephron rom-coms that I’ve been watching ever so much recently. If you’re into The Cranberries, Sixpence None The Richer, Norah Jones, or Corinne Bailey Rae, this mixtape is tailor-made for you.